The public is invited to explore Barber, Comanche and Kiowa counties on May 3-6 as part of the first ever Big Kansas Road Trip (BKRT).The event, facilitated by the Inman-based Kansas Sampler Foundation, replaces the long-running Kansas Sampler Festival.
Foundation director Marci Penner said, "The purpose of the festival was to provide the public a sample of what there is to see, do, hear, taste and buy in Kansas. This BKRT provides a full plate of first-hand experiences. It's like the three counties are having an open house and offering opportunities for the public to get to know who they are and what they have."
People will choose what they want to do and when. There is no organized caravan or a single itinerary. Greensburg's tourism director Stacy Barnes said, "Each person or family can design their adventure around the things they like. Some people may want to do scenic drives and others may want to explore one county per day. Families may have a quest to play on the playground in every town in the three counties.We just want people to come have a great time in our Red Hills and High Plains area."
Many towns are hosting scheduled activities. A 40-page event guide is now available (contact the Big Well, Greensburg) and an up-to-date day program will be available at information centers in each county seat during the BKRT. Those locations are Heritage Park (Main and New York) in Coldwater, the Big Well, (315 S. Sycamore) in Greensburg, and the Red Caboose (Main and U.S. 160) in Medicine Lodge.
Activities include everything from cookies with Carry Nation in Medicine Lodge to a presentation by Stan Herd in Protection to a wheat threshing demonstration in Haviland. You can sign a "guest book" on the WPA swimming pool bath house wall in Greensburg or leave your mark on the Twisted Sisters wall in Protection. Find Kansas authors and musicians, a craft fair and a vintage/retro/antique show. A tour to a meteorite field, a porch visit with a mayor, tours on bicycles, an evening at a family farm, it's all available at the BKRT.
Some of the best known attractions in the three counties include the Big Well and Kiowa County Museum and soda fountain in Greensburg, the free carousel in Wilmore, Lake Coldwater, the Stockade Museum and Carry Nation House in Medicine Lodge, the Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway on U.S. 160, Buster's Saloon in Sun City, and the Fromme-Birney Round Barn and M.T. Liggett's whirligig sculptures in Mullinville.
Penner said, "We have no idea how many people will come. All we know is that the people of Barber, Comanche and Kiowa counties are excited and ready to welcome the public to their hometowns."
For more information go to bigkansasroadtrip.comor email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 620.585.2374.